Long Range Forecast: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

As the Long Range Forecast continues its plunge into the heart of summer, this week’s latest addition is the ninth installment in a venerable sci-fi franchise that has undergone an impressive box office rebirth over the last six years. What can we expect from the (supposed) trilogy-capper when it opens on July 14?

War for the Planet of the Apes
Fox

PROS:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes proved to be one of Summer 2014’s few films to exceed both critical and box office expectations, earning a strong $72.6 million opening weekend in mid-July as it capitalized on the goodwill of 2011’s reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
  • Andy Serkis’ phenomenal motion capture performance will undoubtedly remain a marquee point of interest for fans of the franchise as he returns in the leading role of Caesar.
  • Much like its predecessors, this sequel will aim to serve as adult-friendly popcorn fare during a time of year when very little of that is available.
  • Reactions to the film’s initial trailers have been largely positive, showcasing the culmination of previously established storylines as the scale of action increases to a new level for the series.

CONS:

  • The previous two films arguably had better market positioning with very few breakout blockbusters surrounding them. This time around, War opens in what looks to be the busiest month of summer and potentially one of the busiest of the year. Opening one week after Spider-Man: Homecoming won’t be an easy task, nor will preceding Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated Dunkirk by one week — the latter of which will carry significant interest among Apes‘ target adult audience.
  • Social media buzz for this entry isn’t significantly stronger than the previous film at this stage. That’s not necessarily an ominous sign, but after three years, we’d like to see some signs of growth on at least one major platform.

This Week’s Changes & Other Notes

  • Wish Upon, from Broad Green Pictures, is also slated for release on July 14. It boasts sleeper hit potential as an original mid-summer horror/thriller with young audience appeal, but the distributor’s limited release history and the film’s quiet social media footprint thus far (which is admittedly common for new horror properties) has us cautious until marketing ramps up closer to release.
  • Although tracking is comparable to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, we’re beginning to slightly lower expectations for The Mummy based on mixed reactions to trailers. If Wonder Woman breaks out in the way that we think it could one week earlier, that also will work against the reboot’s prospects.
  • We’ve adjusted expectations for a handful of other films this week based on a combination of tracking and social media trends.

Check out our 8-week forecast in the table below.

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
5/25/2017 Baywatch $35,000,000 (FSS)
$42,000,000 (FSSM)
$109,000,000 -5% 3,400 Paramount
5/26/2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales $68,000,000 (FSS)
$84,000,000 (FSSM)
$212,000,000 4,000 Disney
6/2/2017 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie $31,000,000 11% $103,500,000 11% 3,700 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
6/2/2017 Wonder Woman $93,000,000 12% $240,000,000 7% 4,200 Warner Bros.
6/9/2017 It Comes At Night $12,500,000 4% $40,600,000 4% A24
6/9/2017 Megan Leavey $4,500,000 NEW $14,000,000 NEW Bleecker Street
6/9/2017 The Mummy (2017) $45,000,000 -10% $121,000,000 -15% Universal
6/16/2017 47 Meters Down n/a n/a Entertainment Studios
6/16/2017 All Eyez On Me $18,000,000 $49,000,000 Lionsgate / Summit
6/16/2017 Cars 3 $49,000,000 $180,000,000 Disney / Pixar
6/16/2017 Rough Night $25,000,000 $80,000,000 Sony
6/21/2017 Transformers: The Last Knight $70,000,000 $205,000,000 Paramount
6/28/2017 Baby Driver $15,000,000 $50,000,000 Sony / TriStar
6/30/2017 Amityville: The Awakening $8,500,000 $18,000,000 TWC / Dimension
6/30/2017 Despicable Me 3 $75,000,000 $270,000,000 Universal / Illumination
6/30/2017 The House (2017) $26,000,000 -7% $95,000,000 -25% Warner Bros. / New Line
7/7/2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming $135,000,000 $325,000,000 Sony / Columbia
7/14/2017 The Big Sick n/a n/a Lionsgate
7/14/2017 War for the Planet of the Apes $54,000,000 NEW $150,000,000 NEW Fox
7/14/2017 Wish Upon $11,500,000 NEW $34,000,000 NEW Broad Green Pictures

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

Boxoffice Staff

7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Jahan May 19, 2017

    Your predictions are much better now.
    But Here’s how i think these movies will perform:

    Pirates 5 : $92M 4 days and 222 Total
    WW : $105 M Op. and 275 Total
    Mummy : $46 M and 130 Total
    Spider man Homecoming : $116 M Op and $288 Total
    Planet of Apes : $66 M Op and 177 Total

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Austin May 19, 2017

    Glad to see the increased prediction on Wonder Woman, which I think probably will reach a $105 million opening based on the Fandango poll and the recent early positive buzz from the first screening. I hope the latter of which translates into good overall reviews.
    However, regarding the prediction on War of the Planet of the Apes, I think the opening will be closer to $75 million even with Dunkirk a week later. Dunkirk is targeting a different adult audience that likes movies based on true stories and doesn’t mind the intensity of the movie (based on the recent trailer and the clip playing before the IMAX showing of Kong: Skull Island). On that note, I expect Apes to have a bigger opening but Dunkirk to have better holds.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      ManOfBronze May 19, 2017

      Buzz created by WB, when the actual reviews come out i think its will readjust downward. 80 MIL MAX

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    J May 19, 2017

    Still too low on Pirates of the Caribbean 5. But luckily, this is the last time I will say this on a long range forecast and next week we will find out who is right in the end. Over the four day weekend it will definitely make over $100 million. If not, when the time comes, anyone can reply and tell me I’m wrong. But I have a feeling that won’t happen.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      JS May 21, 2017

      I think you are wrong. I will be very surprised if Pirates makes 100 over 4 days. I think people are not excited by the idea of more pirates.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Austin May 22, 2017

      Update: as of this writing, Pirates 5 is garnering a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although it could increase to around 45%, these early reviews could doom it to play similarly to X-Men: Apocalypse last year when it followed X-Men: Days of Future Past. I have an overwhelming feeling that compared to Pirates 4, the BO and opening of Pirates 5 will prove to be a disappointment. The following could happen instead:
      1. Given the number of male-targeted movies thus far in May alone (GOTG Vol. 2, King Arthur, Alien: Covenant), Pirates 5 could be ignored by some of that audience.
      2. Given Wonder Woman’s positive early reviews and reception to a female superhero conducted in a poll by Fandango, people could opt for WW instead of Pirates 5.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        J May 22, 2017

        Yeah it’s not looking good on Rotten Tomatoes-which makes no since because if it’s better than On Stranger Tides, why is it less than it on Rotten Tomatoes? Makes no sense, but we will see if reviews affect box office returns. I don’t think Wonder Woman is competition because I will just see both lol.

        Reply

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